Skip to main content

French Fries

J. Kenji Lopez Alt is a genius at food. He is a cook book author, famed chef, contributor to Cook’s Illustrated and to Serious Eats, among many other things. He has a very scientific approach to cooking, experimenting to get the exact results he wants, and explaining the reason he takes the steps he takes to get the results he wants. Check it out here

In this recipe, chef Kenji, as his fans call him, deconstructs the famous and beloved McDonald’s French Fry. He discovered that boiling the fries rinses off simple sugars from the surface, allowing them to stay gloriously light golden brown. It also activates an enzyme that allows the potato to firmer when deep fried, producing the tiny, crusty, crispy, blistered surface of the McDonald’s French Fry. The purpose of the vinegar is to help the potatoes keep their shape while that enzyme is activated.

Chef Kenji also highly recommends freezing the fries between the first and second deep frying stages. Freezing fries makes the water in them turn to ice crystals; those crystals damage the cells of the potato, making it easier for those ice crystals to be released once heated again, turning to steam and created a fluffy, not gummy, french fry interior. Plus, since this is a multi step process, having the option and suggestion to freeze half way through is quite convenient. 

The only changes I have made to this recipe are that I use my deep fryer since I am lazy, and my french fry cutter because I am very lazy. Please enjoy and seek out more recipes by J. Kenji Lopez Alt- you will be amazed!

Ingredients: (recipe credit to J.Kenji Lopez Alt)
4 large Russet potatoes, well scrubbed
2 quarts of water
2 tablespoons of vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
Vegetable, safflower, canola or peanut oil - enough to fill your frying equipment to the fill line of your dutch oven 4 inches deep

Serve with:

Cut your potatoes in half, then cut them into 1/4 inch square strips. I have a wall-mounted french fry cutter that makes this process go very quickly. Put the cut potatoes in 2 quarts of cold water; this will prevent the potatoes from browning as you work.

Place the potatoes, soaking water, vinegar, 2 tablespoons of salt into a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat and continue to cook for 10 minutes. The potatoes should be tender but not falling apart. Dry them well with paper towels and let them air dry on a wire rack for about 5 minutes as well.

Heat your oil to 375 degrees F (my max when using my deep fryer- if you are using a dutch oven, heat the oil to 400 degrees F). Add 1/3 of your potatoes in, stirring them to prevent sticking, and cook for about 50 seconds. Remove from the heat, drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet, and repeat the process. Allow them to cool to room temperature (you can freeze these fries at this stage for later use and cook directly from frozen).

Bring your oil back to 375 degrees F (or 400, as discussed) when your fries are cold. Preheat you oven to 200 degrees F and prepare 2 baking trays; once lined with paper towels and once bare.

Again working in batches, cook the french fries in the oil for 3 1/2 minutes. Place them on the paper towel lined baking tray to drain the excess oil and sprinkle with salt immediately. Enjoy right away, or transfer them to the baking sheet in the 200 degree F oven to keep them warm until you can enjoy them.


Popular posts from this blog

Raspberry Pomegranate Jam

Tis the season to be making homemade gifts! Pomegranates are in season and their juice is a festive deep ruby red color. I knew I had to make them into a jam to give away. Straight pomegranate flavor is a little tart for me; I added raspberries for the texture of their seeds and their sweetness. This is a very simple recipe to make and will yield 6 to 7 8 ounces jars of jam or 12 to 14 4 ounce jars, if you like to give away sample sizes during the holidays. Enjoy! Ingredients: 3 1/2 cups pomegranate juice 1 cup mashed raspberries 7 cups sugar 1 tablespoon butter 1 1/75 ounce package Sure Jell Method: Sterilize your jars and lids. Set aside. In a heavy bottomed large stock pot, add the pomegranate juice, raspberries and butter. Mix well. Add in the sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil then stir in the Sure Jell. Allow to boil hard for 1 minutes. Remove from the heat and skim off any foam. Ladle into the sterile jars, twist on the lids and pr

Peek-a-boo Squares

My grandma, Mimi, taught me this recipe. I used to make this with her and my mother as a child. It is my very favorite dessert. It is incredibly easy to make, and even easier to eat. My favorite part of making this as a child was dusting every bar generously with snowy white powdered sugar.  My favorite version of this dessert uses canned blueberry pie filling; I vastly prefer Libby brand over the store brand. You can make blueberry pie filling from scratch with sugar, cornstarch, bleberries, etc. but using the canned stuff is easy in a pinch and is much for nostalgic for me. Plus, I don’t notice a vast improvement over my homemade blueberry pie filling and the Libby brand; it just takes me longer to put this dessert together.  I have been known to whip up a pan of these Friday night and have them disappear by Saturday afternoon. Be warned, these things are addictive! Ingredients: 3 cups of all-purpose flour 2 cups of granulated sugar 4 eggs 2 sticks of

Samosas with Yogurt Sauce

I love exploring many kinds of cuisine in my kitchen because I can control the spice level, and in the case of this recipe, the use of cilantro. Cilantro lovers out there- sub it info the parsley here. I have the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap, which limits my ability to enjoy some dishes in restaurants, but is easily rectified in my own kitchen. I hope you enjoy! Ingredients:  3 russet potatoes 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped 2 teaspoons curry powder 5 ounces peas Six 8 inch flour tortillas 4 ounces Greek yogurt Oil, salt, pepper, vinegar 4 tablespoons butter Method: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Scrub potatoes and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces. Place in a large saucepan with a generous pinch of salt and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Cover and bring to a boil over high; uncover and cook until tenderDrain potatoes and transfer to a bowl.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil in reserved saucepan over medium. Add chopped garlic and al